Rebkong (known as Tongren in Chinese) is a mid-sized town in eastern Amdo. The town lies next to the Longwu River which is a tributary of the Yellow River. Rebkong sits in a valley at 2500m with mountains on all sides. It is known in Tibet as a center for Tibetan art. Thangkas (Tibetan Buddhist paintings) from Rebkong can be found in homes and monasteries all across Tibet. In Rebkong and in several of the small villages nearby, you can see the Tibetan artist's carefully painting thangkas in great detail. Art students from Amdo and beyond come here to study under skilled artists until they become master painters themselves.
There are several large monasteries in and around Rebkong. Gomar, Rongbo, Wutun and Nyentok monasteries are all within 7km of town. Some of the most elaborate chortens (pictured above) in Amdo are found around Rebkong. Though Rebkong has a diverse population of Tibetans, Chinese and Hui (a Muslim people group found in northeastern Amdo), it is still a good place to go to learn more about traditional Tibetan culture.
Getting to Rebkong is easy. There are buses every hour from Xining and a daily bus from Labrang (Xiahe). More and more people are going to Rebkong from Xining and then continuing on to Labrang and then Langmusi. This route takes you through some great regions of Amdo. In Rebkong there are a couple of decent hotels to stay at. The most popular are the Huangnan Hotel and the Post Hotel. Both places have reasonably priced doubles with attached bathrooms and showers.
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